Drone captures progress of Apple's 'spaceship' campus project

A drone has captured what those of us on the ground cannot see -- how far construction of Apple's new campus has progressed.

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Credit: Apple

Fondly referred to by late co-founder Steve Jobs as a "spaceship," Apple's Campus 2 is progressing well, according to footage of the construction captured by drone and released online.

Slated for launch in 2016 and originally applied for to the Cupertino City Council by Jobs a few months before his passing in 2011, Apple's new headquarters has been under steady construction for some time. However, from the ground you can see nothing more than "Under construction" signs posted on walls, and the progress of the campus has largely been hidden from the public gaze.

That is until an enterprising drone owner went above the walls of the construction site in order to capture footage of the build so far.

An eight-minute video of the drone's records reveals how far the construction of Apple's spaceship has progressed so far. The video shows that significant progress has been made, with foundations being laid in a defined circular shape. It is also interesting to go beyond the estimated square feet of the campus and actually see how large the facility is in comparison to other buildings in the same environment. 

The footage was taken using a DJI Phantom 2 equipped with a GoPro Hero 3+ action camera. The operator also claims to have flown under 400 feet -- removing the risk of an aerial trespass -- and also to have avoided airport no-fly zones. View the video below:


In an interview with founder and chairman of Foster + Partners , Norman Foster of Architectural Record discussed the new Apple headquarters and reasoning behind the design.

The architecture firm taking on the spaceship said the building is expected to house approximately 12,000 employees, and will cover almost three million square feet of floor area combined with a circumference of nearly one mile. The late co-founder of Apple Steve Jobs wished to include vast amounts of open space, and by using a circular design, greenery including bicycle trails and orchards could be included in the middle. In order to juggle the need for transport space and greenery, the campus will include underground car parking.

The donut-shaped campus will also rely upon renewable energy resources, and the plans include solar-panelled windows and an energy infrastructure which uses natural gas -- so the tech giant will only tap in to the national grid when absolutely necessary.

In total, the iPad and iPhone maker says that 80 percent of the campus will be landscape-based.

Read on: Inside the secretive Apple University training program